Building-Level Technology Troubleshooting
Some technology troubleshooting is easily handled by technology users and is considered a routine part of being a technology user in general. In these cases, the District Technology Department has often developed step-by-step QuickStart Guides to help teachers and students with a particular task. Additionally, Tech Teachers might teach skills one-on-one or in small groups.
If a Technology Paraprofessional is available in a building, the Technology Teacher may also choose to assign certain troubleshooting and maintenance issues to the Technology Paraprofessional. Technology Paraprofessionals receive on-the-job training in troubleshooting and are often well-versed in the specific problems and solutions to common problems in their building.
Escalating a Problem to the District Level
If a Technology Teacher determines that a particular technology problem cannot be handled by building resources, the problem is escalated to the District level. When an emergency affects an entire building, the Director of Technology and Media Services is contacted immediately, usually via telephone and/or email. Technology Teachers also have immediate access to outsourced technology contractors when a situation warrants.
If a situation is not an emergency, it is entered into the District’s online database for technology support, SupportTracker. SupportTracker allows the Technology Teacher to quickly and efficiently report technology problems by category. Once reported, the SupportTracker system then sends emails to the technician(s) in charge of fixing a particular problem. Technicians can then communicate via telephone or email and suggest solutions, or they will solve the problem when they next visit a building.
Escalating Problems Beyond the District Level
It is occasionally necessary to get help from hardware or software vendors and/or manufacturers to solve certain problems. At this level the Director of Technology and Media Services communicates with all parties necessary to coordinate repairs among all parties involved.
For example, if many users in a school have reported the same problem with a network function such as a slow system login, all reports will go to a Tech Teacher who will report to the Director of Technology and Media Services. Since the problem is widespread, the Director of Technology and Media Services may contact both the outsourced networking company who installed the system and also Apple Computer’s Regional Systems Engineer (since Workgroup Manager is an Apple product).
One of the benefits of using the SupportTracker system of reporting problems is that the district is able to track problems over time. The SupportTracker system allows us to generate reports by building, by category, and by the time it took to fix certain problems. This data becomes valuable when planning for future staffing in the department, future equipment purchases, and training needs both in and out of the department.